Frequent (Answered) Questions
What are the Spherical Panoramas?
Spherical Panoramas, also known as QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality), are panoramic images 360° x 180° that are displayed in 3 dimensions on the computer monitor. The three most known viewing plugins (DevalVR - Flash - Quicktime) are able to offer virtual visits to locations of special interest. Users can look to whichever direction they wish (left-right, top-bottom), of an interior or an exterior place in 3 dimensions, while being able to zoom in for further detailed look.
The development of the viewing plugins, the updated CPU power nowadays, and the broadband connection in the cities, makes the Spherical Panoramas a successful marketing tool. CPU's with old technology and/or low CPU power, may encounter problems as far as the viewing experience is concerned. All the panoramas presented here are of high quality "fullscreen" and they require CPU power and broadband internet access.
Why are they called "High Quality - Fullscreen"?
The maximun resolution of the spherical panoramic image with the current technical capabilities, reaches around 7000 x 3500 pixels for each sphere, being able to be printed at ~ 60x30 cm @ 300dpi but also to be presented at fullscreen on a computer monitor, giving more information for the area being photographed. Viewer plugins DevalVR-(Windows only) and Flash, offer an option at the bottom right of the picture for viewing the panoramic images on the entire computer screen space (fullscreen), giving the pleasure to feel just like you are there.
How can someone move/interact with the Spherical Panoramas?
The main control of the movement inside the 3D image is performed by using the mouse. By pressing the left mouse button while you move the mouse, you can look to the direction of your choice. With the "Shift" button you can zoom in, while with the "Ctrl" button zoom out is achieved. In the Deval VR & Flash viewers, you can also use the scrolling wheel to zoom in / out.
Do I have the required plugins installed on my system in order to see the spherical panoramas?
Below you can see which plugins are available to your system and in which versions
If you have at least one of the above in the required version you don't have to install anything. Nevertheless I insist on installing DevalVR if you are using Windows™ platform. It is the best as it uses hardware acceleration instead of software acceleration, as Flash and Quicktime does, and as a result the navigation / rotation is so smooth that it dramatically increases the experience of a virtual visit. Moreover, it is spyware free and its size is only around 300kb.
Update 18/10/2008: install version 10 of flash player in order to see the panoramas through flash plugin with advanced antialiasing engine and hardware support.
Who can benefit from the presentation of virtual visits?
This service can benefit businesses that want to present their facilities and sites of special interest to the broad public . On the other hand virtual visits offer to Internet visitors the opportunity to see places prior to actually visiting them. Examples of some applications are found below:
The audio material -music or sound recordings from the area that the photography took place- while viewing the VR, but also the usage of video playing inside the panorama (only through DevalVR & Flash plugins), helps to create a unique experience.